Most people today use their smart-phone as an alarm clock. Me? I have two children who manage to sleep very deeply school days, and today, which is a Saturday, manage to wake themselves up at 6am sharp, grab metal objects and bang them against the radiators in the house. By 6.15am today I was ready to throw myself out of the window to end the misery. Hang on I hear you say, why not be a grown up and go and tell them to pack it in? Well, as all parents know, that means getting out of a warm bed, into the Antarctic conditions of the hallway, getting their eye contact (which will take a few days) and by the time you walk back to bed they will have moved onto another noisy activity.
By 7am we all gave up and went downstairs, (well when we say all, I did pretend by managing to turn around and hop back into bed! Now whose the smart one?) After half an hour I felt guilty, so I got up, showered and went downstairs. The kids rushed upstairs as they both needed the toilet. The next thing I heard downstairs was shouting, and the bathroom door handle banging. The end result was the bathroom door handle is as loose as an elderly person’s bladder, and the screws have come out of the door handle again! I know, I know, pop another matchstick in, and tighten the screws. The trouble is the kids hang on the door handle so often, the door is now primarily made up of matchsticks, and if it was not for me cutting the brown lighting part of the match off, we would have the biggest fire hazard since Guy Fawkes!
We had a quick spot of lunch, and having finished both kids decided to announce that they were so hungry even their shoe leather looked appetising! So despite being up early, cranky and a beaten man I said we would walk into town. I am guessing Mother Nature heard me, and decided I was not cranky enough as at the precise moment I announced my genius idea, the heavens opened with a rain storm of biblical proportion. We decided to go to a garden centre instead. Having arrived at the café, my kids announced they would like an ice cream. Great decision kids, I would never had thought of that in winter time, with outside colder than the freezer housing the ice cream. Despite my pleas Captain Chaos chose the ice cream, whilst my wife and little girl chose a cake, and sat down. After relaying all the cakes to the cafe staff, I started to pay when Captain Chaos came back to ‘help’ and offered to carry his ice cream back, to assist Daddy. Thanks son, that’s took a load off of the tray, and my back will really feel the benefit. I paid and headed back to find where my family had sat down. I had relied on them to find a great seat, oh you know not being picky, but not outside the toilets. Yes people an entire restaurant, which had more tables available than you could shake a big stick at, and my family sat outside the loos. Charming, so as you drink your coffee if your bladder gives you a ten second warning then we were at the top of the pack, but if your idea of hell is listening to the toilets flush, and someone using them, then this table was not for you.
I tried to sit down, still a beaten man whilst my little girl was positively gagging, and was already reaching out like an octopus for her cake. I sat down and did wonder if we required extra table space should we open the toilet door, and put the tray and teapot on the loo seat, but my wife seemed to think this was still ‘a good spot’. The kids dived into the toy basket and found lots of musical instruments, which suspiciously had no batteries (I think they may have heard us coming). Not to be beaten Captain Chaos swung the electric guitar like a seasoned pro, and contorted his body into the rock star position, almost wiping out an entire table of ladies, so I decided it was time to go. We drank up, whilst Rocking Robert swung the guitar one last time, and legged it. Yes I did say legged it, he saw freedom and seized the opportunity. My wife brought him back, and we started the trek back when we passed the toy section. My wife caved and told the kids that they could choose one toy. This was interpreted as ‘choose something cheap that would send Daddy over the edge’, so they chose as unicorn that fires balls over twenty feet, or at Daddy whichever came first.
As we got home I was fed up being fired at, so took a bath, as my wife cooked the tea. As I came downstairs I arrived at the table, for Captain Chaos to really show his culinary prowess, and as he took the first bite of his dinner announced to my wife “Yes, that’s not bad at all.” Whoa there sunbeam, could we pack in the restaurant critic routine, as we are not working for the local paper providing a restaurant review. We come here each night, and you’ve had this meal before, Cheeky. My little girl however reviewed the meal and announced it was one star, and there was no way she was eating this. My wife informed her that she was. I hid my head low, and did not make eye contact. Now you’re wondering, well how did it go? We all know I’m not a man, but a mere mouse, so I could not tell you, I just kept a low profile.
We allowed the kids to finish the television program they were in the middle of, and I’m not kidding we left them in the room for no more than 60 seconds, but in this time Captain Chaos had dismantled a table, complete with table lamp and ornaments. I shrieked and asked “What happened?” to be told “It’s ok, I’m hunting for a spider I’ve just seen.” Well if I was that spider, and realised what fate Captain Chaos had for it, I too would have ran for the hills, so we reassembled the front room together, and coerced them both to bed.
So Dorset Dad what did we learn today? Well that’s easy, if my wife ever takes you to a restaurant, do not ever, and I mean ever, let her choose the table!